Wards 5 & 6 businesses and community organizations featured at GEMS Awards night on April 25, 2018 at the Assembly Hall

The 2018 GEMS Awards hosted by MPP Peter Milczyn took place on April 25, 2018 at the Assembly Hall. Jaan Pill photo

The 2018 GEMS Awards hosted by MPP Peter Milczyn took place on April 25, 2018 at the Assembly Hall. Jaan Pill photo

I’ve been attending GEMS Awards nights at the Assembly Hall in New Toronto for many years. I’ve also been active in nominating worthy businesses and community organizations for the annual GEMS Awards.

The list of nominees and winners will be available at MP Peter Milczyn’s website shortly, and I will not list the details here.

What I enjoy about these Award evenings, first of all, is that they involve people getting together in the flesh – that is, in person. There’s much to be said for online conversations and information-sharing but nothing, in my experience, can compare to the great time that people can have when they meet for a special occasion, all in the same building, and all “in person.”

Light refreshments were available prior to the event. Jaan Pill photo

Light refreshments were available prior to the event. Jaan Pill photo

What I enjoy about these evenings, at the Assembly Hall, is the fact, second of all, that the Assembly Hall – a repurposed building with a lot of history associated with it – is a great venue for such an occasion.

Great sound system

What I also enjoy is the fact the Assembly Hall has a great sound system, meaning that every word is heard clearly. The acoustics of a room, and the amplification system in a given space either works well, works so-so, or doesn’t work at all. In this case, the acoustics and the amplification system work really well, and the meeting space on the second floor of the Assembly Hall is welcoming and cheerful.

As well, I much enjoy the sense of celebration. People are pleased to be nominated, to be recognized by fellow residents of Wards 5 & 6. There’s an element of suspense involved as well – within each category, which is the one outfit or business that will be chosen as the best?

I recorded the entire event, using two digital recorders – a Zoom H2n recorder and a Zoom H5 recorder. I used the two recorders because I want to compare the sound quality on the two units. The Zoom H2n is smaller than the Zoom H5, and easier to carry around with me.

The Zoom H5 is a top-quality recorder, as I know from many years of using it, but its recording heads have to be handled with care, as I have learned from experience, meaning it’s not quite as easy to carry around. I’ve learned from experience that it’s good to carry it around in a plastic case, as otherwise the recording heads can get damaged. I want to see how close in quality the H2n recorder is, when compared to the H5.

I didn’t take any notes of the GEMS Awards, except for making a note that The Bread Essentials was the winner in the Ward 6 Best Food Service category, and that Refinery Public House was the winner in the Ward 6 Best Restaurant category. So, those are places I will need to check out.

I was also pleased to see that Nine South Clothing Alterations was among the businesses nominated in the Ward 6 Best Retail category. I’ve brought several of my coats to Nine South Clothing Alterations to have the zippers replaced. The work has been done expertly, and at a very reasonable cost. Nine South is located on the south side of Lake Shore Blvd. West just a few buildings to the west of the corner of Fortieth and Lake Shore.

Jennifer Bazar, Curator at the Lakeshore Grounds Interpretive Centre, accepts "Best Community Service, Ward 6" Award at GEMS event on April 25, 2018 at the Assembly Hall. Jaan Pill photo

Jennifer Bazar (wearing blue sweater), Curator at the Lakeshore Grounds Interpretive Centre, accepts “Ward 6 Best Community Service” Award at GEMS event on April 25, 2018 at the Assembly Hall. Jaan Pill photo

Lakeshore Grounds Interpretive Centre

As well, I was delighted that the Lakeshore Grounds Interpretive Centre was the winner in the Ward 6 Best Community Service category. As I have previously noted at this website, I am very impressed with the work of the Interpretive Centre.

I also noted that among the organizations in the Ward 6 Best Community Service category was the Daily Bread Food Bank. I am also highly impressed with the work of the Daily Bread Food Bank, and the work that volunteers do by way of helping out with its work.

There were many other great businesses and organizations represented at the GEMS Awards evening. As I’ve mentioned, MPP Milczyn’s website will feature a full list of the Nominees and “Best of” award winners.

I was also pleased to be reminded, once again, of the Michael O’Connor Thompson Award. As I understand, Michael O’Connor Thompson was a strong contributor, during his lifetime, to the well-being of his community.

I am pleased his work continues to be celebrated, through his annual reward, which this year went to the Hogle Family, of the H.G. Hogle Funeral Home, which was founded in 1931 and continues to provide an essential community service, while still owned and operated by the same family.

 

2 replies
  1. Kara Seguin
    Kara Seguin says:

    The GEMS Awards ceremony was great last night! There were many great and well deserving nominees and winners (but we’re all winners in my eyes). And thank you for the shout-out for the Lakeshore Grounds Interpretive Centre! I know Jenn, Nadine and Emma work hard to work with the community to help teach about the history and culture of the grounds (including the importance of Assembly Hall). I know I have enjoyed my time working and volunteering with this centre and I know they will continue to do good work for years to come!

    -Kara

    Reply
    • Jaan Pill
      Jaan Pill says:

      Wonderful to read your message, Kara!

      What I find of much interest, among other things, is that in the absence, as I understand, of extensive archival resources related to the Lakeshore Hospital Grounds, there is nonetheless so much history that can be discovered – by reaching out into the community, as is being done, with excellent results. I am super impressed with the work that the Lakeshore Grounds Interpretive Centre is doing.

      Along with the legacy of what the late Jim Tovey – in a somewhat different but nonetheless related endeavour (the common link being the respect for natural and human history) – has achieved in collaboration with many people, in Lakeview and Port Credit in Mississauga, the work being done at the Interpretive Centre in south Etobicoke is tremendously enriching and inspiring. Everybody connected with its work warrants our gratitude and commendation.

      Jaan

      Reply

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